Yup, THOSE days...
I have to admit
I've had a LOT of them lately.
Days when I can barely drag myself out of bed
and force myself to get ready for work;
because I'm convinced that my job consists merely of
making phone calls,
taking paper out of one file
only to place it in another,
studying the Google calendar for 3 medical providers,
trying to make part time schedules cover full time need,
keeping statistics for grant monitors
turning in reports;
all of which,
are meaningless activities;
not at all what I went to graduate school for
and most importantly
NOT making a difference in anyones life,
except mine -
and then, clearly,
not in a good way!
Days when I lose sight of why I'm where I am,
doing what I'm doing.
And then there are days like last Friday -
when I was stopped by a woman, in her late 50's,
as I was walking through the clinic area.
She asked me if I had worked in the PICU 24 years ago
and, when I answered yes,
she threw her arms around me in a huge heartfelt embrace,
telling the young lady she was with that
"this was THAT Social Worker I was telling you about".
She told the story of her son who had suffered
an aneurysm and stroke at age 5
but with multiple special needs,
"You spent hours with us,
reassuring us that we'd find, or be given,
the strength to deal with it;
giving us hope when the doctors couldn't;
letting us know we wouldn't be alone
on this next phase of the journey we were starting on with him".
She went on to say that her son had died 2 years ago
at age 27
peacefully at home;
that days before the final seizure,
which led to a cardiac arrest,
he had inexplicably been 'healed'.
"He was walking without a limp,
he regained use of his left arm
and his smile, post stroke,
which could only be described as 'crooked'
had become symmetrical and 'normal'.
You remember his smile, don't you Donna?
He always lit up when you came in to the room.
I remembered you saying that wholeness doesn't look the same for everyone,
but that even in brokenness
there are gifts to be found...
those words always carried me through".
It was her first trip back to the hospital since her son died.
She was there with her daughter and infant grand-daughter.
She had been nervous and apprehensive,
fearful of being flooded with painful memories,
sure that sadness would overwhelm her -
"and then here you are;
right where I needed you to be again,
after all these years.
Guess God isn't through with you yet!"
even if you can only vaguely remember the particulars of her sons story,
even if you can only partially recognize pieces of truths you've shared over the years
with so many hurting families,
even if you feel like a fraud standing there
being the recipient of her gracious attention,
you recognize the gift you've been given.
If you're very lucky,
there are days
when you get reminders of what's important
and why you are
where you are
doing what you're doing.